Venkataram Laxman, popularly known as Huccha Venkat, is controversial self-proclaimed, self-acclaimed Kannada film actor, director, producer, screenwriter, lyricist, public figure and playback singer, working in Sandalwood. Kannada cinema. Y Maheswara Reddy examines this phenomenon of the Kannada Film Industry.
Perhaps no sane person in Karnataka would like to identify himself as insane but here is a person who craves to be in the limelight at any cost. Venkataram Laxman alias Huccha Venkat, considers himself as supreme, believes he has a patent on everything, loves to teach people what kind of films they should watch and what women should wear.
His latest film PorkiHuccha Venkat was released on April 28 at a few theatres across the state and one theatre – Anupama – in Bengaluru. While many Kannada film producers postponed the release of their films to avoid a clash with the block buster Baahubali 2 – The Conclusion, he arranged a press meet and declared that he was not afraid of Telugu film Baahubali 2 – The Conclusion. In fact he had advice for Kannada movie buffs – watch the matinee show of his film PorkiHuccha Venkat and watch Baahubali 2 – The Conclusion or any other film later.
But he was shocked to see only 10 persons, including three journalists, watching PorkiHuccha Venkat at the Anupama theatre. He expected people to turn up in large numbers for the matinee show. It made him address a hurried press meet where a few media persons questioned him about the need of convening a press meet. The press meet was a harangue….
A few journalists have critically reviewed the film and faced his ire. He could not digest the criticism and released a video criticizing journalists for not appreciating his film PorkiHuccha Venkat. This did not go down well with journalists. Later, in a patch up attempt, Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce president Sa RaGovindu organized a meeting between journalists and Huccha Venkat.
He was furious when one journalist asked him why he has made such a poor quality film. He questioned the knowledge of the journalist about film direction or production. “No one has the right to criticize my film. Those who criticize my film are my enemies and those who did not watch it are not Kannadigas,’’ he announced without any hesitation.
He claims that he has fans across the globe who are compelling him to contest elections. “I will not contest elections. I will campaign for my fans. I do not want to focus on one particular constituency by contesting the elections to state assembly or Lok Sabha. My aim is to get elected by my fans to assembly and parliament,’’ he claimed.
Blurb: Deepak Gokhale in Quora, “Huchha Venkat is a sensation, a parody of common sense, an epitome of self-confidence coated with extensive fallacies, a diatribe against senses, a serious talker who unbeknownst to him transcends into a rich variety of standup comedy and finally, a light at the end of the tunnel of boredom”.
He even expressed his ambition of becoming prime minister of this country for three days. When asked whether he wanted to emulate Arjun Sarja’s character in Tamil film Mudalavan in which he accepts a challenge from the chief minister to be in power for a day and goes about punishing and arresting corrupt officials and politicians, including the chief minister, “Arjun Sarja’s character was chief minister of the state for a day. I wanted to be prime minister of this country for three days. I have many plans and solutions for the problems in the country,’’ he explains.
Huccha Venkat was born in Bangalore to M. Laxman and Gowramma. He attempted to but did not complete his Diploma in Civil Engineering. In 2007, he married his live-in girlfriend Reshma, whom he met while working on the film SwathanthraPalya. They separated after three years.
He began his career in Sandalwood by playing a small role in Mental Manja that was released in 2005. Mental Manja is about a psycho who thinks that whatever he does or speaks is right and deserves to be followed by others.
His next role was as the lead in the 2009 film SwathanthraPalya, which he also directed.In his 2014 Huccha Venkat that he directed and produced, he starred as the lead. The film received negative reviews and bombed at the box office. None, except himself, knows whether it was an upgraded or revised version of his film Venkat which was made in 2003 but remained in the can.
Huccha Venkat is controversial. While promoting hisfilm Huccha Venkat, he issued an audacious statement claiming that he was married to multi-lingual film actress Ramya. His statement made Ramya file a police complaint against him.
Venkat has since appeared as a guest in television shows such as Bengaluru Benne Dose and Divided. In October 2015 he appeared as a contestant on the reality television series Big Boss Kannada 3 aired on Colors Kannada.While on the show Venkat clashed with other participants. This eventually led to his eviction from the house after he assaulted another contestant, Ravi Mooruru for insulting Huccha Venkat Sene. Being a self-proclaimed guardian of Kannada culture and tradition, he did not even hesitate even to chide Mungaaru Male fame Pooja Gandhi for wearing western clothes while participating in the Big Boss Kannada reality television show. He again hogged the lime light by assaulting Pratham on Big Boss 4 Kannada programme claiming that latter disrespected women.
Venkat also challenged Sudeep, later withdrew the challenge and didn't want to talk to Sudeep ever. Post his eviction from the sets of Big Boss, Ravi Mooruru praised Venkat, for his concern towards women and what they wear...
It is not known why music director Veer Samarth promoted Huccha Venkat as a playback singer in film Parpancha. It was produced by Yogaraj Movies and directed by Krish Joshi. It had Diganth, RaginiDwivedi and Ananth Nag but failed to make a positive impact at the box-office.Huccha Venkat started his singing career with Yograj Bhat's Parapancha movie by singing HuttidaOoranu song. This received positive response from fans and from Kannada film industry though the film itself bombed at the box office.However his singing did get him positive reviews.
Known for his loose talk, he has also earned himself a jail term for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Dr B R Ambedkar, the author of Indian constitution while taking part in a panel discussion on television in November 2015. This landed him in the landed him at Parappana Agrahara Central Prison for 14 days.
In response to his growing but perhaps negative popularity in the media, Senior journalist Ganesh Kasargod has written a book "Huchcha Venkat…HuchchuManasinanooruMukhagalu".
Huccha Venkat also claims to have formed a people's army, Huccha Venkat Sene to uplift poor and needy people in the society. Priyanka Joshi of Topeka, Kansas in the USA heads the international operations of Sene. Since Venkat sports and loves blue shirts, his fans in the Sene are said to wear blue shirts.
Ironically, Venkat's fame continues to grow and his growing fame is perhaps only a reflection of the needs of our society. Let’s wait and watch how things unfold.